John Thomson 1830-1897

John was christened on 12 March 1830 at West Ilsley, Berkshire the son of John Thompson and Jane Hardie.

He moved with his parents back to Arbroath, Angus about 1836 but by 1851 they were again in England, living at 40 Hamilton Street, Deptford, Kent and John was a railway clerk

On 1 November 1851 at St George the Martyr, Southwark, John married Emma Goodwin. John gave his occupation as engineer. Emma was 20 years old and her father was John Goodwin, a pastry cook. She was born in Clerkenwell, East London.

In September 1852 when their first child was christened, aged eight months, at the parish church of St Alphege, Greenwich, they were living in Florence Road, Deptford and John was a railway clerk. He remained at this address until at least May 1857.

John was deeply involved with St Marks Presbyterian Church, Greenwich. In 1853 he was admitted to the communion roll. In 1856 he was appointed a deacon, a position he held until his death. He was on the finance committee and responsible for paying bills, reporting on the collection and he was also on the seat letting committee. In 1890 he became an elder and took on even more responsibility, being appointed to represent the Session at the Presbytery of London South in 1893 and 1897, having responsibility for arranging the Wednesday evening service in the absence of the moderator and taking his turn in leading the weekly prayer meeting. Mrs Thomson also appears on the communion roll.

The christenings of all his children are recorded in St Marks register except the eldest and those born between 1859 and 1863 during which time there was a change of minister and there are very few entries in the register. The new minister was the Reverend Adolph Saphir. John's seventh child, Adolph, was probably named after him and Adolph gave his eldest child the middle name Saphir. The deacons were responsible for filling in the baptismal register and many of the entries between 1864 and 1867 were made by John himself.

In 1861 John was living with his wife and children at 75 Ashburnham Grove, Greenwich, Kent, where he remained for the rest of his life. He was still a railway clerk in 1861 but by 1871 his occupation was railway storekeeper.

Emma died on 6 February 1897 and John on 15 August 1897. A touching letter of commiseration was sent to the family by the church officers.

John and Emma had 14 children, 12 boys and 2 girls, one of the girls died as a baby and two of the boys as children.

photo of John and Emma' 8 adult children

Adult children of John and Emma Thomson


The following dates of birth and death were taken from a piece of paper which was found with Gertrude Susannah's belongings, the wife of Charles Thomson.

  1. Alfred James Thomson born 26 December 1851 at Greenwich

    By 1881 he was a commercial clerk, living in Peckham, London and married to Emma, born Torpoint, Cornwall. I have been unable to find this marriage in the GRO indexes. In 1891 he was living at 71 Fenwick Road, Camberwell. By 1901 he was living at 77 Drakefell Road, New Cross. In 1911 he was employed by a biscuit manufacturer, living with his wife of 38 years, in a house with seven rooms at 77 Drakefell Road. He moved from here in the later part of 1911 to 264 Brownhill Road, Catford. He died of a stroke on 9 June 1916 at the home of his brother John at 132 Greenwich Road. His occupation was recorded as retired correspondence clerk and his death was registered by his brother, Ralph. Emma died in 1921 at Lindfield, Sussex.There were no children.

  2. Emma Agnes Thomson born 30 August 1853 Deptford

    The only daughter to reach adulthood, known as Agnes. She lived with her parents in Greenwich, assisting in domestic duties. She was added to St Mark's communion roll in 1874. In 1901 she was living with her brother Alfred and his wife in Deptford. In later life she always wore black which was buttoned up to the neck. Agnes never married and died on 14 April 1936 at 51 Devonshire Road, Greenwich.

  3. John Hallyburton Thomson born 25 August 1855

    He has his own page

  4. Ethelbert Thomson born 4 April 1857 Deptford, died 28 April 1869
  5. Edgar Arthur Thomson born 17 January 1859 Greenwich

    He was a teacher at a board school. Edgar married Henrietta Jameson Turner in 1883 at Greenwich. She was born in 1860 at Lambeth, London. In 1891 he was a teacher at a board school,living at 48 Somervill Road, Deptford and they employed servant. In 1894 they were at Blythe Vale, Catford. In 1901 they were living at 102 Ringstead Road, Catford, and by 1911 Edgar had become a headmaster and was living in a house with seven rooms at 190 Verdant Lane, Catford. Edgar died on 5 December 1933 at 229 Bellingham Road, Catford and Henrietta died in 1938. They and their son Norman are remembered on a tombstone in Ladywell & Brockley cemetery Children:-

    • Henrietta May Thomson born 12 May 1884 Deptford

      Known as May. In 1901 she was living with her uncle Alfred James Thomson and his wife at 77 Drakefell Road, New Cross. In 1911 she is living in Catford with her parents. She probably died in 1969 At Folkstone, Kent.

    • Arthur Alexander Thomson born 12 May 1884 Deptford

      He attended Hollydale Road school. In October 1894 he moved to Plassy Road School, Catford and in December 1897 he left for Roan School, Greenwich. In 1901 he was an ironmonger's apprentice living with his parents.

    • Maud Agnes Thomson born 1886 Deptford

      In 1909 at Lewishan she married Joe Crowther and in 1911 they were living at 81 Broadfield Road, Catford in a house with seven rooms. Joe was a sanitary inspector for Lewisham Borough Council born in 1879 at Bradford, Yorkshire.

    • Edgar Norman Thomson born 1894 died 1900
    • Reginald Leslie Thomson born 1899 Catford, Kent
  6. Eunice Jane Thomson born 12 October 1860, died 9 August 1861

    She is buried at Nunhead cemetery

  7. Adolph Thomson born 23 June 1862

    He has his own page

  8. Charles Ernest Thomson born 25 January 1864

    In 1892 he married Frances Isabel Jarratt at Kensington. Charles was a bank clerk. In 1911 he was living at 184 Ladbroke Grove West, Kensington and he had five rooms. He died at 52 Fortune Green Road, West Hampstead on 21 April 1915. Children:-

    • Russell Charles Ernest Thomson born 1893 Kensington
    • Garnet Francis Thomson born 1895 Kensington.

      He was blind from birth.

    • Cecil Edward Thomson born 1902 Kensington
    • Roland William Thomson born 1905 Kensington
  9. George Goodwin Thomson born 11 March 1866 died 21 January 1870
  10. Albert William Thomson born 23 November 1867

    In 1891 he married Harriett Elizabeth Coates at Greenwich. In 1891 he was a commercial clerk and in 1901 a clerk in engineers. In 1911 he was an engineer's clerk living at 37 Mayhill Road, Charlton, London with his wife and two children. He died of a stroke on 10 December 1944 in a Glasgow hospital. By this time he was a widower and his death was registered by someone from the hospital. His usual address was 108 Humber Road, Blackheath, London. Children:-

    • Gertrude Florence Thomson born 1891 Greenwich
    • Albert Leonard Thomson born 1892 Greenwich
  11. Edwin Henry Thomson born 9 July 1869 died 9 December 1893

    He was a clerk at a soap works. He was added to St Mark's communion roll in 1888.

  12. Walter Alexander Thomson born 7 November 1870 at Greenwich

    He was added to St Mark's communion roll in 1888 and was appointed a deacon in 1895. He resigned in 1913 as he found it impossible to take any active part in the church work owing to distance and other duties. He was a solicitor's clerk when on 1 October 1903 he married Lizzie Jarvis at St Marks church, Greenwich. She had been added to St Marks communion roll in 1902. At the time of his marriage Walter was living with his brother Alfred at 77 Drakefell Road, Nunhead. Lizzie was aged 24 the daughter of Thomas Bostock Jarvis , a commercial clerk. In 1911 they were living at 50 Ardgowan Road, Catford, a house with seven rooms. By 1936 Walter was a solicitor. Walter died in 1942 at 4 Ridgeway, Hayes, Kent and Lizzie died in 1964. The children named below were all baptised at St Marks. Known children:-

    • George Alexander Thomson born 3 July 1904 Lewisham
    • Frederick John Thomson born 2 September 1906 Lewisham
    • Hilda Mary Thomson born 11 January 1908 Lewisham
  13. Ralph Goodwin Thomson born 18 September 1872 Greenwich

    A credit draper, employer. He married Charlotte Alice Mapleston in 1898 at Greenwich. In 1911 he was living at 422 New Cross Road, London. Also there was his mother-in-law Susan Maplestone, born Greenwich. In 1916 they were living at 86 Lewisham High Road, New Cross. By 1921 Ralph had retired to Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, due to ill health. He died there on 5 May 1947. Charlotte known as Lottie was born 5 December 1876 at Greenwich, she died at West Wickham, Kent a few days after her 101st birthday. Children:-

    • Lilian Agnes Thomson born 1899 Greenwich
    • Dorothy Edith Thomson born Greenwich 9 Mar 1914.

      Married Andrew Harkness Murdoch in 1948 at Colchester, Essex. He died in Lewisham in 1975. In later years Dorothy lived in West Wickham, Kent, caring for her mother. Dorothy died in November 2000.

  14. Harold Thomson born 24 May 1874

    In 1891 he was an apprentice marine engineer. He married Bessie Eliza Clayton in 1899 at Greenwich. Bessie was a teacher at a board school. By 1911 Harold was a credit draper, living at 96 Lewisham High Road, New Cross in a house with seven rooms. Also there was a visitor, Elizabeth Ann Clayton age 59. Bessie died in 1919. Known children:-

    • Laurence Harold Thomson born 1900 Deptford
    • Bernard John Thomson born 1902 Lewisham
    • Winifred Bessie Thomson born 1909 Greenwich died 1914 Greenwich

    In 1923 Harold married Violet Lilian Horsman. Violet died in 1928 and Harold in March 1961. A tombstone in Ladywell and Brockley cemetery records Harold, both his wives and his children who died young. Children:-

    • Joan L Thomson born and died 1924 age 6 weeks
    • Son    Private